One of Indiana's newest: Daredevil dares you with "Lift Off" IPA and "Muse" Belgian Golden ale

Daredevil brewing is the carefully engineered marvel (pun intended as Marvel comics published the title Daredevil comic) of two of the biggest winners or Superheroes of homebrew competitions in Indiana ever. If you scrolled back to 2010 the Brewers Cup Competition, you find that between Bill Ballinger and Michael Pearson they took home awards in over one-half of all categories, some with multiple awards within a category. Ballinger alone has, over time, won a ribbon in every category and was Home Brewer of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Pearson was Indiana Home Brewer of the Year in 2008 and 2011 and has one in the National Homebrew Competition 4 of the last 6 years. Even as they were accepting those awards they were planning to hit the commercial beer scene.

Walking into their modern brewery in Shelbyville, IN, you would never imagine you were in a brewhouse that just starting shipping kegs a few weeks ago on January 18, 2013. It is perhaps fitting that former Pro-Brewer turned pub owner Kevin Matalluci of Twenty Tap near Broad Ripple was the first to take on the Lift Off IPA as it expands rapidly to nearly 50 accounts in central Indiana check current locations here . And also noteworthy that owners of trend-setting The Tap beer bar in Bloomington have vowed to keep both Lift Off and the Seasonal, Muse belgian Golden, on tap! At The Tap, Bloomington, which has 50 beers on draft and 500 in bottle, both Lift Off and Muse zoomed to Top spots in draft beer pours within weeks of availability.

Daredevil claims to 'manufacture smiles' with their beer. They have started with Lift Off IPA, their one flagship beer, to represent their "lift off," like a rocket, from a Daredevil countdown. This beer is a very balanced IPA with malt character and a mix of citrus notes, some floral character and a hint of resin from a proprietary blend of hops.

Their first seasonal, Muse Belgian Golden Ale, is a big beer with Belgian yeast and characteristic sweetness with nice hop support. Muse just started shipping as the late-winter, early Spring beer.

Daredevil is both efficient and environmentally conscious. Every drop of water used, including water to cool the beer, is conserved and used in the next batch of beer. This 10 BBL batch brew system has the smallest 'grant' I've ever seen. This ultro-modern facility can ferment twice the brew capacity (20 BBL fermentation) allowing Michael and Bill to put in one long day and have a very large capacity of beer to go into the kegs.

Ballinger (photo above, on left) and Pearson (on right) are not just brewers, they are branders, and strategists. The brand name, Daredevil, is easy to remember. The logo punches out at you with a red helmit with big D styled into it. Tamre Mullins now of Roundpeg, Indy, wrote in their blog, "The Daredevil logo is solid with a bold red helmet and nice detail of a D as the face mask. It reminds me of a modern stylized Evel Kenevil." While the temporary tap pulls stand out nicely the future pulls (see photo below, future pull on left) will really differentiate from the crowd!

Kegs only!
These are beers that need to be explored and at least for now the concept is deliver in kegs and get wide distribution throughout central Indiana. As I write this growlers can be filled at Tomlinson Tap Room in City Market, Indianapolis. Daredevil is a production brewery using World Class Beer to distribute and with no tasting room. Bill and Michael wish to focus on what they feel they do best: brew great beers and leave the distibution to the experts and the serving to YOUR favorite place. Shane Pearson is an active partner working in social media so tweet to @DaredevilBeer and ask if it will be on at your favorite watering hole or check their updated account list on facebook (like: Daredevil Brewing).

This is one of the newest breweries, one of the larger brewing facilities and one with perhaps the most experienced "new" pro brewers!

IndianaBeer Group Tasting and Reviews - Porters

The history of modern porters dates back to 1700s England when a beer originally called “Entire” became popular among workingmen of the time. Historians believe the name “porter” stuck to the style due to its popularity among porters who worked in local markets and delivered beer to the pubs. The Irish picked up on the porter style in the late 1700s and began making several versions of it. One version called “extra stout” was the basis for a popular beer eventually known as Guinness Stout. Porters were introduced to America with British immigrants in the late 1700s, but the style fell out of favor around the time of World War I and virtually disappeared with Prohibition. Anchor Brewing became the first American craft brewery to revive the style post-Prohibition with Anchor Porter in 1972. Modern American craft porters have trended toward a version called Robust Porter that is stronger and more aggressively hopped than traditional English versions.


To compare some of the options in today’s market of craft porters, we conducted a blind tasting of offerings ranging from local to nationally distributed craft breweries. Beers were procured from Anchor, Bell’s, Flat 12, Smuttynose, and Upland and served in a random order to the tasting panel by our lovely hostess Poppi Rocketts. The identity of each beer was revealed after the panelists had submitted their individual rankings and a weighted average was established. Joining me on the panel for this session were IndianaBeer reporter Kathleen Slauzis and special guest panelists Dave Allen and Ron Smith. Here is a summary of each beer sampled, with the brewery’s description followed by the panel’s tasting comments.

ANCHOR-PORTER   bellsporter   Pogues_Run_Porter   smuttynose_porter   bad_elmer

Beer #1: Anchor Porter – Anchor Porter became the first modern American porter when it was introduced in 1972. A blend of specially roasted pale, caramel, chocolate, and black malts, along with our top-ferementing yeast, creates complexity without bitterness. The brew is hopped at a high rate and naturally carbonated. The result is dark in the glass, but surprisingly light on the palate. 5.6% ABV

Dave:  We were off to an auspicious start with this beer. Though a very successful, drinkable beverage; this was my least favorite in the panel. I found this beer to be on the lighter side of the style with limited roast character. The sweet aroma of malt was prominent and follows through with the flavor and finish. Well carbonated with vinous, dark-fruit notes as well. A positive experience but perhaps not the superstar of the session.
Would I drink another? Depends what else was on tap.
Kathleen:  The first beer had a slight chocolate, caramel smell to start. The color was nice and dark, the beer had light foam and at first sip it was smooth. After a few sips, there was a noticeable almost bitter, harsh aftertaste that filled my mouth on the back end of my tongue. Overall, it was ok. After a round 2 taste of it, the beer smelled too disgustingly sweet.
Nathan:  Dark brown in color and offers an aroma dominated by caramel with a surprising lack of roastiness. More caramel in the flavor with slight mocha notes. Moderate lingering bitterness but little perceptible hop flavor. The finish is fairly dry with a slightly acidic character. A decent beer in general that lacks the chocolate and roast notes that I enjoy in a porter. The flavors are also a bit stale which may indicate an older bottle.
Ron:  Dark brown to deep copper/amber in color with a rich tan head that persists. Aroma is rich with caramel notes and perhaps a hint of butterscotch. Lacking some expected roast typically found in a Porter, but a restrained level of roast is detected in the flavor. Flavor is dominated by caramel with some nutty, roasty flavors in the finish. There is also a subtle herbal hop flavor, especially in the finish. The body is on the lighter side and the finish dries out nicely with a very slight lingering hop bitterness and dark malt character. Overall a nice beer, but perhaps a better example of a Dark Northern English Brown.

Beer #2: Flat 12 Pogue’s Run Porter - The Flat12 Porter is inspired by the robust porters favored by the Industrial-age working men of Europe. We chose to emphasize balance from a combination of dark grains including brown malt, which was the primary roasted grain of the time. This Flat12 creation is smooth and balanced with slight roast and chocolate notes, yet it’s not heavy, just like a good porter should be. 34 IBU 5.5% ABV

Dave:  One of the finer examples on the table. This beer was well balanced, offering that magical balance of bakers’ chocolate, roasted grain, coffee and malt character balanced with an assertive hop finish. Finding this careful balance in a commercial porter is not an every-day occurrence. This beer was a joy to drink. Tasty, and delicious; as a porter should be.
Would I drink another? Yes please. Let’s make it two if you don’t mind…
Kathleen:  Beer number two had a significantly strong roasted aroma which followed through with the taste. Not over powering, but it had a very consistent flavor that coated my tongue and no harsh back end. Better than number one.
Nathan:  Dark brown in color with an aroma of roasted malts, cocoa, and earthy hops. Moderate hop bitterness up front in the flavor with a nice blend of chocolate, caramel, and burnt sugar flavors from the malts in the middle and some earthy/herbal hop character lingering in the finish. Very good beer with the bold flavors I look for in a porter. I could use a little more residual sweetness at the end to balance everything out, but that would be nitpicking.
Ron:  Dark brown to deep copper/amber in color with a light tan head. A luscious aroma is filled with a bittersweet cocoa character and a slight toffee note. The bakers chocolate / cocoa character extends nicely into the flavor where it is met by a moderate herbal hop flavor and some restrained roasty notes. The medium body dries out in the finish with a slight lingering hop bitterness. A very nice example of a Porter somewhere between the Brown and Robust styles.

Beer #3: Smuttynose Robust Porter - This hearty, mahogany colored ale is brewed to evoke the dark, full-bodied ales that were a favorite of dockworkers and warehousemen (hence the name “Porter”) in 19th century London. It is a good bet that when Dickens’ Mr. Pickwick sat down for a pint, he would have been drinking an ale much like our Robust Porter.This is a smooth and very drinkable beer, characterized by its well-balanced malt and hops, plus subtle notes of coffee and chocolate. 43 IBU 6.2% ABV

Dave:  I found beer three to be a bit roastier than the other beers in the panel. Dry in the finish with a medium body. The aroma was subdued, though as the beer warmed up a little there were malt and roast notes apparent. In ranking the samples this beer landed right about in the middle and I think that is a perfect descriptor of the overall character as well. Not a bad example of the style by any means. Approachable, and middle of the road.
Would I drink another? I dunno… I’m on the fence with this one.
Kathleen:  This option had no initial smell to me, where one and two had a noticeable scent as soon as it hit my nose, this one was more subtle. My first sip was that this one was much softer in taste as well. This beer was better than one, due to no bad aftertaste, but it didn’t beat number 2. Overall it was just a weak porter.
Nathan:  Darker in color than previous samples with a surprisingly light aroma from caramel and chocolate malts. No perceptible hop aroma. The flavor offers a blend of mocha, coffee, hints of dark fruit, and some herbal tea-like hop character. The finish is well-balanced with a bit of residual sweetness for the moderate lingering bitterness. This is a tough one – it’s a good beer, but the flavor just doesn’t “pop” like the last sample. An odd combination of being enjoyable, yet somewhat forgettable.
Ron:  Very dark brown to black in color with nice ruby highlights under a light tan head. The aroma is soft with dark roasty, chocolate and cocoa notes as well as a low herbal hop character. All of these aromas extend into the flavor, where the hop flavor stands out a little more. A lighter body and finishes dry with a lingering hop bitterness.  A good Porter for those that like hop flavor and bitterness. A little more body, richness and complexity might help balance it out more, but a good example of a drier, hoppier Porter.

Beer #4: Upland Bad Elmer’s Porter - Bad Elmer’s Porter is a medium-bodied beer, brewed with lot of roasted malt, giving it flavors of coffee, licorice, and chocolate. This porter is characteristically dark but extremely smooth. 20 IBU 5% ABV

Dave:  I found this beer to have pleasant malt aroma, slightly sweet flavor, and limited roast character as compared to some of the other beers in the panel. To my palate the bitter finish was a bit aggressive. My personal preference would have been for a more chocolate/toffee presence to help balance the roast/hop finish. Though to be fair most of my notes were from the initial run through, but there are notes to indicate that with the second pass-through of the samples my impression of this beer improved greatly.
Would I drink another? Again, it depends on what else was on tap.
Kathleen:  At first glance this beer was a lighter color than the previous ones. It came back to a sweet, caramel chocolate secret although not as powerful as number two. This one however was very heavy in tasting and had a slight hoppy, bitter flavor. Continued sips of this one tasted more hoppy than malty.
Nathan:  Light/medium brown in color with a light caramel and chocolate malt aroma. The malt flavor features caramel, nutty, and light chocolate notes with some citrus hop character lingering throughout. Hop bitterness and a slight woodsy impression follow through in the aftertaste. The roasted malt aroma and flavor expected from a porter are virtually nonexistent. I like this beer a lot when thinking of it as a Brown Ale, but the malt character is lacking when compared to more aggressive porters.
Ron:  Dark brown to copper/amber in color with a light tan head that persists. A soft aroma with some caramel notes and a very restrained level of roast. The flavor also has some caramel character, as well as some nuttiness and a very restrained roasted note. A herbal hop flavor is also prominent in the flavor. This lighter bodied beer is lacking some of the typical roastiness, cocoa notes and body found in many porters, but a very good beer regardless. May be a better American Brown Ale style.

Beer #5: Bell’s Porter - One of our many award-winning beers, Porter emphasizes the darker, roasted aspects of malt. Hints of dark chocolate and freshly roasted coffee provide the focus, while hops remain in the background. Not as full-bodied as a stout, Porter bridges the gap between malty brown ales and our more heavily roasted stouts. 5.6% ABV

Dave:  Our panel of tasters was divided on which beer we all preferred. Out of the five samples poured, this beer was my personal favorite (though it was a very close contest between this beer and beer number 2). This beer also had that elusive combination of chocolate, roast, caramel, and coffee malt character carefully balanced with a hop finish. Medium bodied with beautiful tan foam that lingers on the glass. Sweet in the initial impression resolving to an exceptional bakers chocolate/roast character and finishing with an assertive, but not overpowering, hop presence. A delicious sample. I may need to head out and pick some of this up after finishing my review.
Would I drink another? Absolutely, are you kidding me? This is a great beer.
Kathleen:  Last beer, bigger head, almost a “go big or go home” on this beer. The color was back to the rich dark color and a nice chocolaty smell. Taste was almost in reverse, first a slight bitter hop taste and then back end was roasted. The finish warmed my mouth, and overall it was my favorite.
Nathan:  Dark brown with an off-white head. Toasted brown and chocolate malts with a spicy, floral hop presence in the aroma. Nice combination of caramel, coffee, dark fruit, and moderate roast in the flavor. The beer ends with a very dry finish and a lingering spicy note of hop flavor. The balance and finish make this a very drinkable beer. Possibly the most well-crafted example in the lineup, but my personal preference leans slightly toward the bold specialty malts in sample #2.
Ron:  Very dark brown to deep amber in color with a light tan head. A soft aroma has hints of caramel and some light herbal hops. More roast comes through in the flavor with notes of bakers chocolate, some nuttiness as well as some caramel. The herbal hop character is also quite evident in the flavor. A lighter beer that dries out in the finish with a slight lingering hop bitterness. A little more malt richness, roast and complexity might balance better with the hop character, but overall a nice example of a Robust Porter.

And the results are in…….

After tasting and discussing each individual beer, we lined up a sample of each to determine a 1-5 ranking of each person’s preference. After tallying up the scores, our collective preferences averaged out to (drum roll please):

Fifth Place: Anchor Porter
Fourth Place: Upland Bad Elmer’s Porter
Third Place: Smuttynose Robust Porter
First Place (tie): Bell’s Porter and Flat 12 Pogue’s Run Porter

bellsporter        Pogues_Run_Porter

I know, I know, offering up a first place tie is the ultimate copout. But after focusing on each sample individually and then lining them up for a head to head comparison, each panelist selected Sample 2 (Flat 12 Pogue’s Run) and Sample 5 (Bell’s Porter) as their top two beers. Dave and Kathleen selected the Bell’s sample for their top spot, while Ron and I went with Flat 12, so we are left with a statistical tie and two strong recommendations. In the spirit of local business, I’m inclined to suggest seeking out Pogue’s Run first. But the panel obviously felt you can’t go wrong with either of these options.

Smuttynose Robust Porter is not distributed to Indiana and was a bit of a wildcard for this tasting. It looked to be a formidable opponent based on other ratings I have seen. And it was a perfectly good beer, but just did not have the assertive malt character to hold up when placed alongside our top two offerings. But Smuttynose was Poppi’s favorite, so they probably couldn’t care less what the rest of us think. Upland Bad Elmer’s Porter was a bit of a quandary. Several of us really liked this beer as a very tasty Brown Ale, but we found it to be lacking the chocolate and roasted malt character we were looking for in a porter. But if the bitter, slightly burnt aspect some find in those darker malts doesn’t appeal to you, Bad Elmer’s may be your best choice.

One interesting aspect of these tastings is noting how the classic examples have struggled, as was the case with Sierra Nevada in our previous review of fresh hop ales. Anchor Porter is the classic example of this style and paved the way for the other craft examples we enjoy today. But those early recipes can struggle to keep up with evolving tastes as craft brewers continue to experiment with new ingredients and push style boundaries. As another example, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is still highly regarded (with good reason) as a classic example. But imagine putting the SN Pale Ale up against something like Three Floyds Zombie Dust in a blind tasting.

Big thanks to Dave, Kathleen, and Ron for serving on the panel and a bigger thanks to you for reading this far. Now turn off your electronic device and go enjoy some porter!

Cheers, Nathan

Dribs, Drams, and Detcetera

New Albanian Brewing gets a good beer dinner review in Louisville. Varanese First-Ever Beer Dinner Shouldn't Be the Last

Somebody thinks the politics isn’t over. Thinks micro-distilleries may be allowed to sell on-site and at farmer’s markets and trade shows. It seems beer and wine would follow quickly. article

Hawcreek LogoHoosier Beer Geek scoops the net with a Hoosier Beer Geek Sixpack interview with Hawcreek Brewing Company. Two couples starting part-time in Hope, Indiana. website. Hawcreek will soon join others who started the same way dating back to People’s, Flat 12, Lil’ Charlie’s and Oaken Barrel. Looks like they’ll start with a Pale, IPA, Wheat and a Brown.

Headline: The beer belly is a myth, study claims

HogsBack Brewing has released their Aporkalypse Now Oatmeal Bacon Stout. Yep, Canadian bacon. Shiver, yum, shiver, drool. article

20 Creative Beer Cans & Label Designs


Bell's 15-Tap Takeover at Trion Tavern - February 14

Saturday, February 23 - 5p.m.

You read correct...15 Bell's beers will be tapped and these are some VERY SPECIAL Bell's beers to say the least!  The cost of the featured Bell's beers is 6.00 or less and $3.50 for the remaining 46 beers on tap!  A Bell's representative will be on hand to answer your questions about their beer and to hand out swag!

 If the Bell's beers aren't enough to wet your whistle here are some of the other beers being tapped:

 • Three Floyds Behemoth (Blonde Barleywine) - 12.5%
 • New Holland Night Tripper (Imperial Stout) - 10.8%
 • Drie Foneinen Beersel Blonde (Belgian Strong Pale Ale) 7.0%
 • New Belgium Peach Porch Lounger (Saison) 9.4%
 • New Day Breakfast Magpie (Black Raspberry Mead with Espresso) 8.0%
 • Monk's Cafe (Flemish Sour Ale) - 5.5%
 • Hinterland Maple Bock - 6.8%
 • Thirsty Dog Irish Setter Red - 5.9%

As always, there is no cover charge, no smoking and families are welcome.


Beers, Cheers, Sneers, and Cupid – February 14


Upland will be breaking out some newly discovered cases of sour ales for sale at their Bloomington and Indianapolis tasting rooms on February 23rd. The bottles will be sold on a first come, first served basis. The Bloomington location (350 West 11th St) opens at 11am and will have 3 cases of Blackberry Lambic, 3 cases of Raspberry Lambic, and 2.5 cases of Gilgamesh available. The Indy location (4842 North College Ave) opens at noon and will have 4 cases of Raspberry Lambic, 2 cases of Blackberry Lambic, and 2 cases of Gilgamesh available. The cost is $20 for Lambic bottles and $25 for Gilgamesh with limits of one per style/two bottles total per person.

Congrats to Kevin Cox of Muncie for being named a finalist in Wynkoop Brewing’s Beerdrinker of the Year competition. Kevin is a passionate beer advocate and homebrewer who has tasted over 6000 different beers spanning over 400 breweries, 12 countries, and 4 continents. Winnings for the coveted title will include free beer for life at Wynkoop (conveniently located in Denver) and $250 at the winner’s local brewpub. J. Wilson took last year's title after claiming to fast on water and doppelbock for 46 days. Good luck Kevin!

If you were interested in checking out Gravity Head 2013 at New Albanian (and why wouldn’t you be?), the full program of strong beers has now been posted. The festivities kick off February 22nd with a tap takeover from Sun King. The remaining kegs will be rotated through the taps until all 60+ kegs are gone, which will likely produce a run of several weeks.

Sunday alcohol sales appear to be dead once again now that the House Public Policy Committee Chairman decided not to hold a committee vote on legislation and declared that the state has more pressing issues (which is great in theory…..if they actually spent productive time on those issues). I’ll stand by my comments from last week – it’s obviously a stupid law, but is generally much ado about very little other than retail power. And Committee Chairman Bill Davis reminds us that “It’s not like we can’t get it six days a week.” Thanks for clearing up the math for us there Bill.

Grand Canyon Brewing has invented the Flavor Bomb – a small plastic pod that can be stuffed with flavor additives and submerged in a beer bottle. The Flavor Bomb allows creative brewers to extend the beer’s contact with hops and other flavor additions right up until the moment the bottle is opened. Grand Canyon has already used the “bombs” for commercial offerings that loaded them with whole cone hops, coffee beans, and toasted oat sticks; but the possibilities here are endless. If you’d like to experiment with Flavor Bombs at home, they can purchased from Grand Canyon’s gift shop at 10 for $10.50, 20 for $20, or 50 for $48. Can’t wait to see what you homebrewers come up with to stuff in your pods!

We’ve reached another Valentine’s Day and the blogosphere is flush with suggestions of beers to share for this special occasion. These are typically rooted in traditional romantic ideals and focus on options like chocolate beers. But I think this excludes a significant portion of the audience who may not have the option or desire for a traditional VDay celebration. So here are some beer suggestions for those seeking a slightly more alternative option: Dead_Cupid_02

Wasatch Polygamy Porter – For the beer drinker who enjoys sharing with multiple people.

Buffalo Bill's Alimony Ale – For the beer drinker who does not have to share with anyone, but can only afford Buffalo Bill’s as a result.

Sleepy Dog Leg Humper – For the single guy whose best shot at Valentine love is rubbing up against someone in the club.

Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper – For the single guy whose best shot at Valentine love is rubbing up against someone in the bingo parlor.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin – For the ladies who need a little added warmth on this cold winter holiday.

Alesmith My Bloody Valentine – For your “quiet” neighbor who drives a white van with painted windows.

Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout – For the fun-loving couple who understand the best gifts don’t come from Kay or Jared.

Dogfish Head Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner – For the fun-loving couple who might be taking the last comment a bit too far.

Jailhouse Brewing Prison Camp Pils – For the homebrewer who entered an Old Ale last year under the name Works Better Than Candy. Seriously dude, I think you were looking for the homebrew competition sponsored by To Catch a Predator.

Cheers, Nathan

Beers, Cheers, and Sneers – February 7


RateBeer has released their latest set of “best” lists for 2013, which is better known as the Three Floyds Open in this state. The craft titans from Munster rank #2 (behind only Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont) on the list of Best Brewers In The World. Dreadnaught, Zombie Dust, and Dark Lord (Bourbon Vanilla Bean) claimed spots among the Top 25 on the list of Best Beers In The World. To take it one step further, a total of nine 3F offerings were included among the Best Beers By Style lists (they make a Schwarzbier?). 

The wealth is spread around a little more if you delve into the Top Retailers By Subregion for Indiana:

Best Brewpub New Albanian Pizzeria and Public House (New Albany)
Best Restaurant Shallos Antique Restaurant (Greenwood)
Best Brewer Taproom Flat 12 Bierwerks (Indianapolis)
Best Bottle Shop Crown Liquors #14 (downtown Indianapolis)
Best Bar The Heorot (Muncie)

You should never take it literally if you hear us muttering that it seems like a new brewery opens every day. According to the Brewers Association, that would more accurately be stated as 1.06 breweries per day in 2012. The nationwide figures show an increase in active breweries from 1949 at the end of 2011 to the 2336 that closed out 2012. But wait – there’s more! The BA counts 1254 prospective breweries-in-planning that were in some phase of opening during 2012. Like I always say, a chicken in every pot and a brewery in every neighborhood – that’s how it goes right?

Bottleneck Management is set to open a new restaurant called Howells & Hood this March in the Tribune Tower. The setup includes three separate bars with a total of 360 beer taps, which they believe will be the most of any restaurant in the world. If you go there and ask your server to come up with a recommendation, you might be suffering from sadistic personality disorder. It’s not your fault.surly_unicorns

Surly Brewing in Minnesota lived up to their moniker and had a little fun with authorities by submitting label artwork that features a pink unicorn, fairy, and accompanying rainbow. The label was predictably rejected for appealing to underage drinking. So Surly has learned that pink unicorns are bad, but occult imagery is no problem.

Good news/bad news for AB InBev’s annual splurge on Super Bowl “big game” commercials. The Budweiser spot reuniting horse and trainer took the top spot in USA Today’s Ad Meter Results, but commercials for their heavily hyped Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire products took three of the bottom five spots. I guess a bunch of hipsters toasting a dude in an apron doesn’t make up for calling your amber lager “black”.

A collaboration between Spiegelau glassware, Sierra Nevada, and Dogfish Head produced a new glass specifically designed for drinking hoppy beers. The glass is designed to aerate the beer as you tip it so that a blast of aromatics are delivered to your nose as you sip the liquid. I don’t have a joke for this, I just want one.

More than a few homebrewers were caught off guard in 2012 when the National Homebrewers Conference sold out in a then unprecedented two days. Welcome again to the brave new world of American beer culture. Despite a nearly 90% increase in capacity, the 2013 conference sold out in 20 hours. Hope everyone who made it in has a great time this year. I won’t be joining you, but surely this photo spurred on the increased demand. If anyone from the American Homebrewers Association is reading this, please make the royalty check out to Poppi Rocketts. Thanks.


So you’ve probably heard that the push for Sunday alcohol sales has reared up again in the current legislative session. This is logically the time where I should climb on my soapbox and rant against another bass-ackwards law still on the books in Indiana. But I’m just having a hard time finding the motivation at this point. Not because I’m a big fan of blue laws or appreciate Indiana serving as a national punch line every time another state decides to join the 21st century of alcohol laws. It’s just hard to see why it really matters for our scene. If you’ve lived here for a while, how often are you really blindsided when Sunday rolls around and the fridge is empty? And with carryout sales now allowed from Indiana breweries, most people can support a local business and take home a fresh growler or six-pack for Sunday festivities. But of course, this was never about the best interests of consumers, it’s a retailer pissing match between liquor stores and grocery chains. And that’s not the type of thing that really gets my blood boiling one way or the other. So Sunday sales would be nice at a certain symbolic level, but I can also live with punch line status for a while longer. Other states can laugh it up, but we still have the Kokomantis.

Cheers, Nathan

Dribs and Drams

IndianaPaleAleRight now you can’t get Indiana Pale Ale. Truth. It’s made by Heartland Brewery in NYC but they are closed until the Sandy cleanup gets, er, cleaned up. And no, we don’t know why they think Hoosiers all drive tractors and look like Buddy Ebsen.

Psychology Today answers “Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol” with charts and tables.

PopSci has more than you want to know about barley’s genome.

Headline: Dead Man Found in “Beer Cave”. By the 7am crew no less. The police do not suspect foul play – insert your own pun here (or in the comments).

Meanwhile on Yahoo, Epicurious tests canned beer and found the winners to be (tada) Coors Light, Tecate and Amstel Light. Really.

A-B is still looking to take over Grupo Modelo (Corona). It will help them compete in the craft beer market? The Huff Post doesn’t buy that either. article

Bohemian Rhapsody explained. That’s to take your mind off the conundrum of the Budweiser Black Crown ad that admits, nay shouts that Bud has no taste.